Last week, I posted the following on my Facebook page:
“So….I got 50K words for NaNo ’09, but the novel crashed and burned. JulNo ’10 now has a possibility of changing directions entirely. Like, a whole different novel. Why was my first WriMo so successful, and the next 2 a struggle??? I hope NaNo ’10 is easier!”
A friend of mine replied with (in part) this:
“I can understand liking the challenge of writing a ton, but that to me seems more like a challenge regarding typing speed, discipline, but not quality. So why expect quality?”
(there was a long conversation on FB, but I’m just picking the most pertinent-to-this-blog-post part)
This was my response to that:
“Some people really do just hammer out as many words as they can, and 75% of it is crap. Writing 50k in a month isn’t a huge deal to me. I wouldn’t do it every month, but I can, and I can write workable stuff with it. By workable I mean a decent first draft. It will never be the best I can do on the first try. But like, last November, I knew what I was writing wasn’t very good so I quit. I don’t want to waste my time with something I know I won’t use. The day I opened my laptop and stared at the blank screen of the next chapter for literally 15 minutes, and couldn’t stand the thought of writing another word on that novel, I stopped. I happened to already have 50k, so great, but even if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have written any more.
Even this month, there have been plenty of days where I didn’t feel like writing for whatever reason, so I didn’t. Yeah, I’m behind where I “should” be, but I am totally capable of catching up with GOOD stuff. Even if I don’t catch up, well, I don’t. I set a goal for myself, I want to reach it, but I won’t write crap just in the interest of reaching it. I refuse to waste my time like that.”
My friend does photography as a hobby. He has no intention of making a living off it, and we sometimes disagree about turning a hobby into a profession. He wants to take photos because he loves it, not to make money and be “another wedding photographer.” But me – my dream is to be published. My even bigger dream is to make a living off my writing. I love writing, and would love to be able to afford to do that all day, every day. BUT. There’s always a but. I won’t change what I write for the purpose of being published. I want MY stories to be published, not something I generated because some publisher was looking for some particular type of story. There’s nothing wrong with either approach, it’s just a difference of goals. (and btw, I can type 100 wpm. So typing speed isn’t even a challenge to me. Just sayin’. 🙂 though 80wpm is more my average. (Yes, I know, that wasn’t the point of the statement lol))
A different friend told me about a bartender at a pizza place he likes. He got to talking to her, and found out that she writes, and has been published. They chatted about her books, he got her website, and passed it on to me, with the tip that her publisher is looking for more authors and maybe I’d be interested.
I checked out the website and read the blurbs of this author’s books. Good for her if that’s what she wants to write, but they were, um, smutty. That’s putting it nicely. So maybe her publisher is looking for authors. Maybe they’d pay me. But that is so not what I want to write. I don’t even think I’m capable of writing something like that. And I don’t need to find out. So there’s one example right there of sticking by MY writing. Maybe my novels will never be published. It will be disappointing, but that’s okay (though I don’t think that’s likely. I just need to work hard enough to find the right agent.) But when I am published, it will be a story I wrote because I love it. I’m not judging this author, only saying that’s not how I want to do things.
Finally, my JulNoWriMo update: I haven’t written anything for it since last Monday. I’m debating where I want to go with my writing at the moment. Switch to the novel from three years ago and still make a run for 50K, or call it a good try and move to editing Ravaged Heart, rather than trying to rewrite it. I haven’t decided, and while I’d love to be able to say I’m a JulNoWriMo 2010 winner, I think I’m leaning toward sticking with RH.